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By Jody Valley
Playing the field
Q: I am a 23-year-old female who is quite confused at this moment. The problem is hard to explain in a succinct way, but I will give it a try. I am madly in love with a woman, “Jean,” whom I have known for four years. Jean was the reason I came out in the first place. She was not my first love, but she was the person who made me realize that I could not exist in a closet. She gave me the strength to stand up to my family and friends. She was there for me to talk to and had a shoulder for me to cry on when I needed someone. Without her I would still be lying about who I am, and being scared all the time.
Now for the problem: Even though I am in love with her, I am attracted to other women. I don’t want to hurt her, but I want to start dating and playing the field for a while. I just have this feeling that I am missing out on life, and there may be someone else out there that I don’t know about or just want to experience. I think if I don’t explore a bit and I stay with Jean, I will always have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I might have missed out. I know this sounds shallow and stupid, at least to me it does. I’m not even sure what my question is. I guess I am asking if it is okay for me to look around before I make a life commitment–and should Jean understand?
Need to Sow Some Oats
A. First of all, I couldn’t say whether or not Jean “should” understand. This isn’t a should kind of thing. Of course, if she loves you this would be hard for her to hear.
On the other hand, I believe that it would not be fair to Jean – in the long run – if you didn’t date and play the field for a while. If Jean is the right one, you will find out, if she isn’t, it is better to end it now rather than later.
ISO of Birthday boy
Q: I am giving a friend of mine a birthday party; I will call him Jim. It is a surprise party. I have been planning it for quite some time because it is his 40th birthday. I know he hates getting older and doesn’t want to acknowledge that he is 40. He doesn’t look his age, so most people think he is in his early thirties. So I think that having a party would be perfect to let him know it is OK to get older, something to celebrate.
I have rented a place and spent lots of time and money on the decorations. I have ordered the food; I am having the party catered. Invitations have been sent out and basically everything is in order except for my friend.
Last night I was talking to another friend of mine and he said Jim has a vacation planned for the time I have the party planned. Apparently Jim just scheduled with a travel agent to go on a cruise. Now what do I do? If I back out of the party, I am going to loose a wad of money. Do you think it is OK if I go to Jim and ask him to reschedule his cruise? I know this would ruin the surprise, but at least I wouldn’t lose all my money.
Have Party, Need a Birthday Boy
A: Why in the world would anyone plan a party for someone who doesn’t want to acknowledge his birthday without asking him first? But back to your question: do I think it is OK to ask Jim to reschedule his cruise. I suppose that you could go to Jim and explain the situation to him. He may or may not want to reschedule; he might not be able to change his plans or might not want to. He might even be angry with you for planning an “Age-Coming-Out” party. OR: You could find someone else who’s having a birthday, and honor him; OR change the nature of your party, like a “Hurray for Summertime” party.